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Moisture transport in impregnated concrete: Moisture Diffusion Coefficient, Modelling, Measurements and Verification
2006 (English)In: Journal on Restoration of Buildings and Monuments, ISSN 1864-7022, Vol. 12, no 1, 13-24 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In order to understand the mechanisms of water repellents it is important to have reliable data on how the moisture diffusion coefficient is affected by a hydrophobic treatment. The results from the experiment described below will be used as input data in a project aiming to create a computer model for simulations of moisture and material transport in impregnated concrete structures. Two types of concrete with wo /c = 0.8 and 0.45 have been investigated by means of the cup-method to determine the moisture diffusion coefficient. Half of the specimens have been completely impregnated with trietoxy(isooctyl)silane by capillary suction and the other half were left untreated. This silane is one of the most common used water repellents on the Swedish market. Four different saturated salt solutions are used to create a relative humidity (RH) between 85 % and 97 % inside the cups while the surrounding environment is kept at 50 % RH. Three cups for each situation, two cups with pure water and four cups for verification give a total of 54 cups. The weight of the cups has been monitored weekly until a constant weight loss per unit time is obtained. With the use of Kirchhoff's potential in the calculations, the cup method is an efficient way of measuring the moisture diffusion coefficient. The moisture diffusion coefficient for treated concrete is found to be close to constant and less influenced by the RH compared to untreated concrete. Further, the results have shown that the transport of water vapour is highly reduced after a water repellent treatment. The accuracy of the method is verified at conditions of low humidity and a one dimensional steady state flow.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 12, no 1, 13-24 p.
Keyword [en]
Water repellent treatment, Moisture diffusion coefficient, Cup-method, Kirchhoff’s potential
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6301OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-6301DiVA: diva2:10979
Note

QC20100714

Available from: 2006-10-25 Created: 2006-10-25 Last updated: 2017-04-18Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Impregnation of concrete structures: transportation and fixation of moisture in water repellent treated concrete
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Impregnation of concrete structures: transportation and fixation of moisture in water repellent treated concrete
2006 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Water repellent agents, today mainly consisting of alkylalkoxysilanes, are often used on concrete to prolong the service life of the structure. This is accomplished by protecting the reinforcement bars from chlorides or by changing the moisture content inside. When the concrete is treated with a water repellent agent the properties of the surface layer turn from hydrophilic to hydrophobic and thereby water droplets are stopped from entering, still allowing water vapour to pass through. This property change can reduce chloride ingression and stop heavy rain from penetrating through the surface layer.

This thesis presents results concerning how the moisture transport and fixation in the surface layer of the concrete is affected by a water repellent treatment. It also presents an investigation in which the effective penetration depth and the factors that influence it are studied. The methods used covers uni-dimensional transport of moisture using the so called cup method, measurements on moisture fixation using climate boxes with saturated salt solutions, penetration depth by cracking samples and spraying water on them, and field tests in a harsh tunnel environment.

The moisture diffusion coefficient for a water repellent treated concrete is close to constant and not nearly as dependent on the relative humidity (RH) as for untreated concrete. Unlike untreated concrete, where capillary suction plays an important role for the moisture transport at high RH, the vapour transport is the dominant transport mechanism even at high RH for water repellent treated concrete.

The moisture fixation is affected by a water repellent treatment and the effect is clearest at high moisture levels. There is, however, a certain amount of moisture present in a concrete treated with a water repellent agent. It can also be seen that the main reason for this is that the capillary porosity is affected by the treatment to a relatively high degree while the gel porosity to a large extent remains unaffected.

The three most important factors for the penetration of any water repellent agent into concrete is time, porosity and degree of saturation. An empirical equation is derived that gives an idea on how much these factors affect the efficient penetration depth of the water repellent agent.

Measures prolonging the service life of a concrete structure will lead to savings of natural resources and thus both economical and environmental savings for the community. The aim with the PhD-project is to develop explanation models to the promising results that have been obtained from the empirical research during the last decade and by doing this also create a better knowledge about when and how to apply a water repellent agent in order to benefit as much as possible from the product. The results presented in this Lisenciate thesis will be used as input in these models in the planned second phase of this project.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2006. x, 38 p.
Series
Trita-BKN. Bulletin, ISSN 1103-4270 ; 84
National Category
Building Technologies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4160 (URN)
Presentation
2006-10-13, Sal L1, KTH, Drottning Kristinas väg 30, Stockholm, 13:10
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20101117Available from: 2006-10-25 Created: 2006-10-25 Last updated: 2012-02-21Bibliographically approved
2. Hydrophobic Impregnation of Concrete Structures: Effects on Concrete Properties
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hydrophobic Impregnation of Concrete Structures: Effects on Concrete Properties
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Hydrophobic impregnations often referred to as water repellent agents, today mainly consisting of alkylalkoxysilanes, are often used on concrete to prolong the service life of the structure. This is accomplished by protecting the reinforcement bars from chlorides or by changing the moisture content inside. When the concrete is treated with a water repellent agent the properties of the surface layer becomes hydrophobic and thereby water droplets are stopped from entering, still allowing water vapour to pass through. This change can reduce chloride ingress and stop heavy rain from penetrating through the surface layer.

This thesis presents results concerning how the properties of concrete are affected by a hydrophobic impregnation. Moisture transport and fixation in the surface layer of the concrete are studied as well as the secondary effects of more practical use such as the effect on chloride ingress, water absorption and humidity level. It also presents results on how the penetration depth and concentration of the water repellent agent (i) depend on a number of parameters, and (ii) affect the outcome of the treatment. Water repellent treatments on a number of different concrete structures in Stockholm, ranging from tunnel to high-rice building, are evaluated as well.

The three most important factors for the penetration of any water repellent agent into concrete are time, porosity and degree of saturation. A semi-empirical equation is derived that gives an idea on how much these factors affect the efficient penetration depth of the water repellent agent. The depth and concentration have a major effect on the performance of the treatment.

The moisture diffusion coefficient for a water repellent treated concrete is close to constant and not nearly as dependent on the relative humidity (RH) as for untreated concrete. Unlike untreated concrete, where capillary suction plays an important role for the moisture transport at high RH, the vapour transport is the dominant transport mechanism even at high RH for water repellent treated concrete.

The moisture fixation is affected by a water repellent treatment and the effect is clearest at high moisture levels. The main reason for this is that the capillary porosity is affected by the treatment to a relatively high degree while the gel porosity to a large extent remains unaffected. A hypothesis is presented which suggests that the RH inside the concrete at the time of the treatment affects not only the depth and concentration but also in which range of pore radii the water repellent agent is present and active.

The durability of hydrophobic impregnations can be divided into surface effects and in depth effects. The first is sensitive to the environmental and mechanical loadings and normally disappears within a year while the later can be long lasting if a sufficient depth is reached.

Hydrophobic impregnations are not the answer to all problems in concrete related to moisture, but if correctly used it can prolong the service life of the structure which will lead to savings of natural resources and thus both economical and environmental savings for the community.

Abstract [sv]

Vattenavvisande impregneringsmedel, som i dagsläget till största del består av alkylalkoxysilaner, används ofta på betong för att förlänga livslängden på konstruktionen. Detta syfte uppnås genom att armeringen skyddas mot klorider eller att fukthalten inuti betongen sänks. När betongen impregneras ändras ytskiktets fuktmekaniska egenskaper från hydrofila till hydrofoba vilket gör att vattendroppar kan stoppas medan vattenånga tillåts passera. Dessa förändrade egenskaper kan medföra att kloridinträngningen minskar och att kraftiga regn inte tränger genom det impregnerade skiktet.

Denna avhandling presenterar resultat om hur betongen påverkas av en vattenavvisande impregnering. Fukttransport och fuktfixering i betongens ytskikt har undersökts men även sekundära effekter som kloridinträngning, vattenabsorption och förändring i fuktinnehåll vilka alla är av större praktisk nytta. Avhandlingen presenterar också resultat om vilka faktorer som påverkar impregneringens inträngningsdjup och koncentration samt vilken betydelse dessa har för funktionen. För att utvärdera impregneringars effekt i olika miljöer har ett stort antal objekt i Stockholm undersökts, innefattande olika konstruktioner från en tunnel till höghus.

Impregneringens inträngningsdjup och koncentration har en avgörande betydelse för dess funktion. De tre viktigaste faktorerna för alla impregneringsmedels inträngning i betong är tid, porositet och fuktnivå. En semiempirisk ekvation har tagits fram där det framgår hur dessa tre faktorer påverkar det slutliga inträngningsdjupet för impregneringen.

Till skillnad från obehandlad betong är transportkoefficienten för en impregnerad betong nästan oberoende av den relativa fuktigheten (RF) i omgivningen. Vid höga RF, där största delen av fukttransporten i obehandlad betong sker på grund av kapillärkrafter, är ångtransporten fortfarande den dominerande transportmekanismen i impregnerad betong.

Fuktfixeringen i betong påverkas av en impregnering och effekten är störst vid höga RF. Det är dock tydligt att en viss mängd fukt finns inuti den impregnerade betongen. Detta kan förklaras med att största delen av kapillärporerna påverkas av impregneringen medan gelporerna förblir obehandlade. Resultaten indikerar också att fuktnivån vid impregneringstillfället avgör vilken del av porsystemet som kan behandlas och inte bara koncentrationen och inträngningsdjupet.

Långtidsegenskaperna hos impregneringen kan delas upp i yt- och djupeffekt. Effekten på ytan avtar normalt sett inom ett år på grund av damm och partiklar, UV-ljus, slitage mm. Djupeffekten påverkas däremot inte av dessa faktorer och kan finnas kvar i decennier.

Vattenavvisande impregneringar är inte lösningen på alla fuktrelaterade problem i betong, men om de används på rätt sätt så kan det förlänga livslängden på många konstruktioner. Detta leder till ett bättre hushållande med naturresurser och därmed både ekonomiska och miljömässiga besparingar för samhället.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2010. xii, 45 p.
Series
Trita-BKN. Bulletin, ISSN 1103-4270 ; 104
Keyword
hydrophobic impregnation, silane, siloxane, concrete, surface treatment, water repellent agent, building protection, impregnering, betong, silan, siloxan, ytbehandling
National Category
Civil Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-12179 (URN)
Public defence
2010-04-16, Sal D2, Lindstedtsvägen 5, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC20100715Available from: 2010-03-30 Created: 2010-03-24 Last updated: 2010-07-15Bibliographically approved

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